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What's wrong with Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica? They're arguably two of the best science fiction shows of all time.
I'll agree that so far Defiance is pretty good. I'd even say very good for a SyFy original. I'm going to wait a season or so before I can give it a decent review though. Remember how awesome Fringe was the first two seasons? Then it totally fell apart. Same for X-Files.
Who would we cast as Mr. Ford if we were making the TV movie? Remember it's on the SyFy channel, so it's not going to be an A-lister.
What about the actor that played Apollo in the recent Battlestar Galactica?
I think you're taking the thread out of context a little bit. The story isn't at all mediocre when you stack it up against classic SyFy originals like Dinocroc Vs. Supergator and my personal favorite Chupacabre Vs. The Alamo starring Erik Estrada. Most of these movies seem to star either Deborah Gibson or Tiffany or both.
In fact, they would probably have to dumb down the Conduit story considerably.
Here's a quote from the Dinocroc Vs. Supergator Wikipedia page: Roger Corman gave Syfy the idea but they didn't know if they wanted to do it. But they filmed it anyway...